GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County residents gathered outside the Gallia County Courthouse at noon Thursday to pray for the nation as part of National Day of Prayer events.
People also shared in the fellowship of colleague religious believers.
With a predominantly Christian theme, ministers and lay people prayed for the various issues facing the country on the courthouse steps after Gallia County Commissioner and President Harold Montgomery announced a proclamation naming May 5 as National Prayer Day for Gallia County. The Rev. John Jackson, of New Life Lutheran Church, led attendants and introduced individuals leading prayers for the day. Paul Koch, of St. Louis Catholic Church, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Larry Marr, of First Baptist Church, prayed for the military and veterans struggling with current challenges. Gallia County Commissioner Brent Saunders, a member of Faith Baptist Church, prayed for leaders on all levels of government to make sound decisions and to find peace for the people of the U.S.
Donna Barnes, of New Life Lutheran Church, prayed for the futures of youth and education as well as teachers and administrators. John Jones, of Vinton Baptist Church and Field of Hope Outreach, prayed for the souls struggling with drug addiction. Paul Voss, of First Church of God, prayed for those trying to overcome health care challenges and those struggling with illness. Annetta Holiday, of Fishermen’s Net Ministries in Point Pleasant, W.Va., helped lead singing along with Charlie Huber, of the First Presbyterian Church, and David Seaman, of New Life Lutheran Church.
Jackson said there were about 120 people in attendance on the courthouse steps. He invited individuals to contact the county commissioners or himself if they wished to be part of leading the prayer in next year’s event.
Jackson said he was a regular man and felt it was necessary for people to pray for the health and spirit of the country considering the challenges of the current world.
“It’s important to pray, especially in an election year,” Jackson said. “Everyone should vote their God-led conscience.”
Jackson serves as minister of New Life Lutheran Church and has served as a chaplain in the Army National Guard.
“When I was in Sarajevo, they did not have an English-speaking priest to do Catholic services,” Jackson told the Tribune in earlier conversations. “Here came this lady major. She was a lay Eucharist minister in the Catholic church, which meant she could give communion. So, we got a French priest to bless the elements and I conducted the worship. She gave communion. Then the Germans found out about it and they spoke good English. The Germans came over and did the English-speaking circles. That’s the kind of coordination I’m talking about with collaborative ministry. ‘One Lord, one faith, one Bible.’ We had 27 different countries represented on base. When you start working with Christians of all these different countries, you just get such a sense of the oneness that we have in community.”
Jackson emphasized that “prayer day” was meant for all faiths, despite being a Christian. He felt it necessary that all people embrace the peace of spirituality.
National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 and signed into law by President Harry Truman. It is an annual observance held the first Thursday of May and invites peoples of all faiths to pray for the future of the country.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.